Traveling on Delta Flight 1989 on 9/11
[My thoughts about the day can be found at 9/11/2001 Thoughts. A detailed timeline of the events of the day at 9/11/2001 Timeline. I've also collected some pictures of 9/11.]
[This was written by a friend of mine and I find it interesting from a couple of different angles. I thank her for the permission to post it. As an aside, the Delta flight 1989 she was on was initially thought to be flight 93 since they were very close in the sky at the time that 93 was hijacked. Her flight was the only 8am flight out of Boston bound for LA that was not hijacked. It was also a 767 and full of fuel. Given discussions with some of the 9/11 skeptics/tinfoil-hat-types out there, I felt compelled to add some additional details and some comments from the author of this piece. I also have scanned in her scrapbook from the time. ]
Our brush with death was frighteningly close. When our company made the travel arrangements for our trip to LA two months ago, [my spouse] told the staff to book us on the American flight 11, the flight we usually take to LA, but in the day it took for the travel agent to get back to us, the price of the flight had gone up several hundred dollars, and for economic reasons only, [my spouse] instructed the staff to look for a less expensive flight. Fortunately, Delta Airlines had a lower fare. With gallows humor we have all been expressing how grateful we are that [my spouse] is so economy-minded when it comes to travel expenses. Humor aside, though, we are all shaken by how close a call this was, and humbled by the realization that with all of these coincidences, Someone Above must be looking out for us.
Airlines use yield management formulas to price seats on their airplanes.
Supply and demand is an important part of yield management.
When there are plenty of open seats on an airplane,the price will remain low because
there is little money to be made by flying nearly empty airplanes.
As more and more seats are sold, the prices on the remaining limited seats go up.
The obvious questions that come to mind in trying to explain why a ticket price would go up several hundred dollars two months out on what ended up being a relatively empty plane are:
Were reservations made for a significant number of seats on Flight 11 two months out, and then cancelled at the last minute?
Did American Airlines follow standard yield management formulas that resulted
in Flight 11 being nearly empty and the Delta flight flying the same route being full?
The key point is this.
Ticket price is the most important factor in determining if a plane will be nearly empty,
like all the hijacked airliners, or full like the Delta flight flying the same route as Flight 11.
Nearly empty airplanes were clearly an advantage for the planners of 9/11.
Law enforcement officers frequently fly on business.
Government travel offices must always choose the lowest fare and law enforcement
officers normally carry their firearms when they fly. An armed law enforcement officer on board one of the hijacked airliners could have meant a significantly different outcome.
The question is, were ticket prices for the hijacked airlines manipulated externally
or internally to guarantee nearly empty airplanes and no armed law enforcement officers traveling on business?